Over 50 models have spoken to The Boston Globe’s Pulitzer-winning Spotlight team about the systemic sexual misconduct rife in the fashion industry, accusing at least 25 top industry figures of sexual exploitation. The offences vary from sexual harassment and inappropriate comments to sexual assault and rape. These allegations follow multiple accusations made against Bruce Weber and Mario Testino.
The biggest name to have been accused is the French photographer Patrick Demarchelier, who has worked on campaigns for Louis Vuitton, Dior and Chanel. The Boston Globe’s report also includes names like the prominent stylist Karl Templer, who has worked with Coach, Zara and Tommy Hilfiger, the photographer David Mellemere, whose pictures have appeared on the covers of Elle and Marie Claire, Greg Kadel, who has worked closely on campaigns for Victoria Secret, and Andre Passos, who often did test shoots for models to build their portfolios.
Andre Passos, The Boston Globe reveals, was accused by former model Dasha Alexander of penetrating her with his fingers during her first shoot to lend the pictures “more emotion”. To this, the photographer replied: “I have already suffered enough consequences out of this absurd story. . . . I was a victim as well as the model was a victim of her parents and agency to send her out in the world at such a tender age in the hands of an evil industry. An industry that never knew how [to] educate [these] girls, that only looked at profit and fame no matter what.”
The Boston Globe states that nearly 60% of the models interviewed by the Spotlight team expressed that they had suffered experiences of non-consensual and inappropriate touching during working conditions. One model said she had been groped and masturbated at during shoots, with threats made against her family if she told anyone. Another model explains how she was called a “whore” and a “hooker’ by a Dior executive. Despite The Boston Globe verifying many of the instances with accounts by third parties, everyone accused has denied the allegations.